Original paper

Identifying the key habitat characteristics of threatened European mudminnow (Umbra krameri, Walbaum 1792)

Pekárik, Ladislav; Hajdú, Juraj; Košo, Ján


The European mudminnow (Umbra krameri, Walbaum 1792) has undergone a population decrease caused by anthropogenic modification of freshwater habitats over the last century. Although the species has become threatened and consequently protected, there is still an information gap regarding the ecological requirements of its surviving populations. We used generalized linear models to evaluate the habitat preferences of the European mudminnow. No significant differences were found between the species occurrence in recently created artificial habitats (artificial neorefugia) and former natural habitats (palaeorefugia). The relative abundance data indicated differences among the three habitat types (oxbow lakes, canals and side arms). Higher preferences were found in sites with dense aquatic vegetation, narrow channel width, low velocity, mixed vegetation cover, absence of bank regulation and in channel sections closer to the source. We hypothesise that the original distribution of mudminnow was linked with old backwaters and swampy habitats located away from the main channel, as well as with side arms or channel-like water bodies which served as corridors and provided connectivity between swamps and backwaters.


drainage canalfloodplainmodellingoxbow lakestagnophilous fish